A deliciously moist and tender banana bread, baked with brown sugar, and filled with the nutty crunch of walnuts.
Happy Saturday everyone 🙂 I hope you’re all having a lovely day. What are your plans this weekend?
It’s a bit of a busy weekend for me; I’m running the Reading Half Marathon tomorrow – eek! Well, I say running, my running is more of a shuffling gait, slowly, slowly working my way through the miles. To say I’m nervous about it is a little bit of an understatement. I’ve almost blocked the whole notion that its happening from my head, hopefully I’ll just turn up and somehow get myself through! I’ve done a half before, back in Hong Kong last February. I distinctly remember at about 11 miles hating every second, and promising I would never put myself through such a run ever, ever again! Yet somehow here I am, about to undertake another 13.1 miles!
As painful as the run will be for me though, it will be worth it for the important cause I’m running for. I’ll be running with my brother David, and his girlfriend Nikki. We’re running to raise money for King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, who are currently working to fight the Ebola outbreak. This is a very personal cause for Nikki especially. Her brother Andy has been out in Sierra Leone since the beginning of the outbreak working as a medic. Although Ebola hasn’t been in the news so much lately, the outbreak is still very much on going, and the need to aid is still very real and urgent.
We’ve raised over £600 so far, and donations are still coming in to our sponsorship page. We’re so pleased to have raised such a huge amount of money for such a good cause.
Today I’m focusing entirely on foods which might help get me round the distance. This defiantly includes banana bread! Its packed with energy, bananas for slow release energy, a hit of protein from the walnuts, carbs to help prepare my muscles. That’s my excuse anyway, and I’m sticking to it!
This is a banana bread I first made last week in Andy’s Mum’s kitchen. We’d been up to Hull to visit family up there, and we were about to head to Norfolk with Andy’s parents for a blissfully relaxing couple of days of long walks, drips in the hot tub, and lots and lots of peace and quiet. There were a few very brown bananas, which would be beyond eating by the end of the week, just crying out to be baked into banana bread. It came along with us to Norfolk, and we polished it off in big thick slices after tea.
It’s a deliciously moist bread. The older your bananas, the better it will taste, and the softer the bread will be. I’ve used soft brown sugar for extra moisture, and for a subtle caramel taste. The walnuts are perfect in banana bread, they give a really nice crunch, and I love the nutty flavour they bring. I think my favourite thing about this banana bread though, is the smell it will fill your kitchen with as it bakes. Is there any better smell than the smell of banana bread in the oven? Such a gorgeous, homey, comforting smell.
– The recipe is adapted from BBC Food.
– The riper your bananas, the better the bread will be. Really soft, brown ones will bring the most sweetness and taste to your loaf.
– I love walnuts in this loaf, but you could play around with your additions. A handful of sultanas would be really yummy, or try throwing in 100g of chocolate chips.
- 285g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 110g butter
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas, mashed
- 85ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75g walnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F.
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. The mixture might look a bit curdled and unpleasant here, its ok, this is normal.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together.
- Fold through the chopped walnuts, and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, until it is risen and golden, and firm to the touch. An inserted skewer should come out clean.
- Cool for about 20 minutes in the tin, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an air tight container.